Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Persia"

See other formats


i48                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                CHAP.
This prince was under great obligations to Yissugay,
who had protected him when a refugee and had aided him
to expel a usurping uncle and to regain the chieftainship.
Consequently, when many years later he was again a
refugee, having been driven out by his brother, who had
the support of the Naiman—also a Christian tribe—he
bethought himself of Temuchin, and was welcomed by
the young chieftain. In A.D. 1194 we read that Temuchin
led a contingent against the Buyr-Nurs under the Kin
emperor, who commanded in person, and covered himself
with glory in fighting and crushing the family foes. For
some years after this campaign Temuchin fought with the
tribes on every side and gradually organized his power.
In A.D. 1202 he engaged in a trial of strength with his
former ally Toghril, who at first defeated him ; but in
A.D. 1203 he crushed the Keraits, who were thenceforth
his subjects.
Some time after this important success Tai Yang
Khan, King of the Naimans, attempted to win over Ala
Kush-Tekin, chief of the Onguts or White Tartars,
with the design of, uniting in an attack on Temuchin
before he became too powerful. But the Ongut chief in-
formed the intended victim of the plot and he promptly
attacked the Naimans, whom he crushed. Their king
was killed, but his son, Guchluk, escaped and fled west-
wards. Among the prisoners taken by Temuchin was
Tatatungo, the Uighur Chancellor of Tai Yang, whom
the conqueror took into his service. Tradition attributes
the rudiments of civilization acquired by the Mongols to
this remarkable man, who taught the sons of Chengiz
the Uighur tongue and the art of writing, and who main-
tained his influence under Ogotay, the son and successor
of Chengiz. In A.D. 1206, so powerful had Temuchin
become, that he was -in a position to assemble a Kuriltay,
or " Diet of the Nobles," and at this historical assemblage
he assumed the title of Chengiz Khan,1 or " The Perfect
Warrior."
The Downfall of the Kara Khitai Dynasty.—Guchluk,
1 This name varies in spelling from the Cambynskan, of Chaucer to the Zingis of
Gibbon.